Mr. 3000 (2004)
USA / English
"He's putting the "I" back in team. "Aging baseball star who goes by the nickname, Mr. 3000, finds out many years after retirement that he didn't quite reach 3,000 hits. Now at age 47 he's back to try and reach that goal.
History Will Be Kinder Than The Critics; The Bratwurst Steals The Show
This is an excellent movie because it delivers on the promise of its
marketing: you get the story of a 47 year-old former hitting star of
the Milwaukee Brewers (Bernie Mac as Stan Ross), who retired nine years
earlier with exactly 3,000 hits, believing that to be his ticket to the
hall of fame, and milking the "Mr. 3000" persona for all it's worth
commercially. It is very common in real life for former athletes to
become car dealers and high-end stockbrokers, selling expensive things
to rich people who want a little nostalgia as an extra, and if you
check the end of "Miracle" you'll find many former members of the 1980
gold medal squad working in finance or banking.
The last-place Brewers are desperate for attendance (at least their
owner, played by Chris Noth, is), and they lure Stan back to the
ballpark to retire his number. While compiling a list of each of his
3,000 hits, it is learned that three of the hits were counted twice and
he only has 2,997 hits, thus cancelling his ticket to Cooperstown. Stan
will have none of this, and returns to the Brewers, whose owner figures
he'll be a welcome distraction from the standings. Ross faces an uphill
battle from the team he publicly derided prior to his return, even
finding himself on the receiving end of a seemingly endless tirade of
trash talk from a mascot dressed as a BRATWURST. The movie even paid an
homage to the "sausage races" that occur in Milwaukee during the
seventh inning stretch (a race between four mascots in various sausage
The usual suspects (ESPN, etc.) make cameos, and Stan's on-again,
off-again love interest (an ESPN reporter played by Angela Bassett)
enjoys his company but finds him unsuitable for commitment to anything
but his mirror. Stan has a full life and several close friends who
accept his narcissism as part of the package that drew the fans to the
ballpark all those years. The fans seem willing to forgive Stan
everything because he came through for the team all those years, and
even empathize with his plight to recapture his primary glory in life,
taken from him through a mathematical error not even his. Paul Sorvino
manages his best Earl Weaver impersonation as manager Gus Panas, but I
was never a fan of that shtick when Earl did it.
The film has no real bad guy (other than Stan's ego), but they add an
"It's A Wonderful Life" element to the film in the form of T. Rex
Pennebaker (sp?), the brash young slugger you build championship teams
around. T. Rex is a lot like Stan used to be, thus giving Stan pause,
for like Stan used to, T. Rex walks the walk as he talks the talk. To
his credit, T. Rex gives his all even for a last-place team, even if
it's only to boost his stats.
Stan, who left the Brewers in a pennant race nine years ago, now tries
to be a team player as he pursues the elusive three hits. He tries to
show he has matured and loves the game, and assumes a mentoring role
for a talented yet very undisciplined, young team, but the "old Stan"
does not go away quietly, and in a way that's good, because for as
egotistical as Stan is made out to be, it is obvious that he loves
people, the spotlight, and genuinely wants to be liked. He just assumes
that everyone is out for themselves the way he is out for himself.
If you tried to write the ending to this film, it wouldn't be
surprising if you were not too far off from how they wrote this one.
The movie doesn't even try to be unpredictable, and this is another
strength, because there's really only one or two ways a movie like this
|Nr of disks/tapes:||1|
|Storage device:||Divx 4|